2013 Ford Fusion Review

2013 Ford Fusion - The all-new Euro-style 2013 Ford Fusion is a major new sedan


Prices: $21,900-$40,100

The all-new Ford Fusion sedan with its sharp European styling and turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engines likely surprised foreign sedan rivals such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata.

The solid-feeling Fusion is essentially a four-door family sedan, but radiates European flair because it steers, handles and brakes much like a foreign (or American) sports sedan. And the ride is supple. If you want a family sedan with pizzazz, the turbocharged EcoBoost Fusion might be for you.

The Fusion has been such a hit that it’s unchanged for 2014, except for several new color combinations and the addition of a 1.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine with (a projected) 178 horsepower—the same rating as the current 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder but with slightly less torque and a little better fuel economy.

Ford is in love with its fuel-saving, horsepower-enhancing EcoBoost turbocharging system, and so apparently are many of its customers. EcoBoost engines have been ordered by51 percent of Fusion buyers.

Many folks buy a car mainly because they like the way it looks. With an Aston Martin-style grille and slick body, the Fusion looks more expensive than it is and has an upscale interior to match.

The Fusion comes with front- or all-wheel drive (AWD). You can get a few gas-electric hybrids that start at $27,200, but regular Fusion 2013 list prices begin at $21,900.

The most desirable model is the upscale $32,200 AWD Titanium version with a 231-240 (figures vary) horsepower EcoBoost 2-liter four-cylinder. This is the model I tested. With front-drive, it lists at $30,200.

The turbocharged 2-liter EcoBoost has dual overhead camshats, four valves per cylinder, direct fuel injection and twin-independent variable camshaft timing.

My test car engine had no turbocharger lag and provided lively in-town performance and fast 65-80 mph. passing times on highways. No wonder this smooth, generally quiet engine is such a “little giant.” It’s dual horizontal exhaust outlets contributed to the Euro look.

The 191.7-inch-long Fusion comes in S, SE and Titanium trim levels. It also can be had with a non-turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 175 horsepower or a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 178 horsepower and more torque than the 2.5 engine. The four-cylinder gas/electric hybrid has a combined 188 horsepower.

Transmissions are a 6-speed manual or a responsive six-speed automatic.The 2-liter EcoBoost six-speed automatic comes with a manual-shift feature that’s easy to work.

The Titanium AWD EcoBoost has estimated fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon city and 31 highway. Other Fusion models have estimated economy numbers in the low- to mid-20s in the city and low to high 30s on highways, except for the hybrid model; it has an EPA-rated, likely optimistic 47 miles per gallon combined city/highway rating.

The Fusion has all the standard safety features one would expect, including lots of air bags and side curtains, and the Titanium model has a standard backup camera. Its uptown features including a premium sound system, heated front power leather seats and dual-zone climate control.  

Also available for the Fusion are a lane-keeping system, active park assist, blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and navigation system.

The quiet interior has a rather large space-eating console, but the interior is generally roomy. It’s easy to enter because there are large outside handles and wide door openings, both front and rear. Small touches include dual lights for the sun visors and rear windows that lower all the way.

Driver vision is good and outside rear view mirrors fold to prevent parking lot damage. The cabin has good materials with comfortable soft-touch areas, and both front and rear seats are supportive. However, shorter rear adult occupants may feel they sit too low. Front cupholders are easy to reach, and rear ones are in a large fold-down center armrest.

There are a good number of cabin storage areas, including a deep covered front console bin, dual-level glove compartment and pockets/bottle holders in all doors.

Gauges can be quickly read, even in bright sunlight, and I found controls easy to work. The large driver’s footrest next to the brake pedal will be comfortable on lengthy drives.

The lined trunk lid raises on twin struts, but doesn’t go up high enough. I banged my head on the lid several times. Perhaps it’s got an adjustable height feature I overlooked. Curiously, there’s an interior pull-down feature on the left side of the lid. That’s fine for left-handers, but it really should be on the more conveniently situated right side.

The large trunk has a wide but moderately high opening, and rear seatbacks flip forward to increase cargo room. The pass-through area between the trunk and rear-seat area is large.

The heavy hood is held open with a prop rod, instead of more convenient hydraulic struts, and you could make bets that most people unfamiliar with the car will grope a lot before finding the outside hood release. Fluid filler areas can be easily reached.

Those who need a sedan’s convenience, but want driving enjoyment and aren’t hung up on foreign nameplates should give the Fusion EcoBoost a try.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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